Beloved community member Liz Cunningham won Citizen of the Year for her commitment to various community groups. Pictured: Liz Cunningham and Mayor Matt Burnett
Beloved community member Liz Cunningham won Citizen of the Year for her commitment to various community groups. Pictured: Liz Cunningham and Mayor Matt Burnett

Meet the winners from Council’s Australia Day awards

Some of Gladstone's biggest contributors were recognised for their commitment to the community at Gladstone Regional Council's Australia Day Awards on Tuesday.

Seven categories were awarded at the ceremony including Citizen of the Year, Mayor's Young Citizen of the Year, Arts and Culture Award, Young Sportsperson Award, Sports Official Award, Community Event or Initiative Award and the Community Volunteer Award.

Beloved community member Liz Cunningham won Citizen of the Year for her commitment to various community groups.

Ms Cunningham was recognised for her contribution to the Calliope Rotary Club, Gladstone Central Committee of the Ageing, Boyne Tannum Artscape Committee, Rio Tinto Here for Gladstone, Qld Retired Police - Gladstone Branch, National Serviceman's Association - Gladstone Branch, Gladstone Cancer Council - Relay for Life, Port Curtis Historical Society and Gladstone Chaplaincy.

The Mayor's Young Citizen of the Year went to Abbi Willis for her commitment to reducing the stigma of mental health and championing the region's youth.

Ms Willis holds the deputy chair position in Gladstone Region Youth Council.

She has participated in council's shared initiative with Headspace - the Avenue to Awareness

project - for two years in a row and is a volunteer leader for the youth of the Co-ordinated Community Response to Domestic and Family Violence.

Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett congratulated the seven winners, including all nominees.

"These awards recognise and reward members of our community who have a consistent record of excellence, have made outstanding achievements in their field, or have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of sport, community events, arts and cultural life in the region," Cr Burnett said.

 

Meet the winners:

 

Citizen of the Year - Liz Cunningham

 

Liz Cunningham
Liz Cunningham

 

Mayor's Young Citizen of the Year - Abbi Willis

 

Abbi Willis
Abbi Willis

 

 

Arts and Culture Award - Robyn Addison

Robyn Addison
Robyn Addison

Robyn is the current vocal coach for the community musical, Legally Blonde, and was the vocal coach for the 2020 Combined Schools Musical, Wizard of Oz - managing to get more than 80 students to sing in a seven-part harmony.

Robyn has shown great commitment to musicals being involved in the orchestra pit for community and combined schools' musicals for over 15 years.

 

Young Sportsperson Award - Nicholas Crane

Nick Crane
Nick Crane

Nick performs at the highest level in many sports such as tennis, volleyball, touch football and

athletics.

In 2020, Nick made the Queensland team for tennis.

This is something that has not been done in Gladstone for several years and is a sensational

achievement for someone who is 16 years old.

Nick had to defeat players who were many years older than him to make the team.

 

 

Sports Official Award - Deborah Creighton

Deborah Creighton
Deborah Creighton

Deb is currently in the role of Administrator at Gladstone and District Hockey Association.

She has been in this role for several years but has also done a lot of work in other areas, such as coaching, managing representative teams, running and helping in the canteen and much more.

In 2020, Deb was awarded a Queensland Hockey Community Award for her outstanding contribution to the positive culture of hockey.

 

Community Event or Initiative Award - Gladstone Hospital Auxiliary Association Inc.

Gladstone Hospital Auxilliary
Gladstone Hospital Auxilliary

The Gladstone Hospital Auxiliary has been working in the Gladstone community raising funds for Gladstone Hospital since 1958.

In that time, they have worked within the hospital environment working with the staff assisting in doing nonclinical, but highly time-consuming jobs that take front line staff away from their roles.

Since 2011, the Auxiliary has purchased equipment for the hospital valued in excess of $212,000.

 

Community Volunteer Award - Bob Pailthorpe

Bobby Pailthorpe
Bobby Pailthorpe

Bobby has been a volunteer since leaving school more than 50 years ago.

Bobby supports our community by offering his services to speak and announce at events, cleaning up after community activities.